Category Archives: Social Media

URGENT Message to Facebook Users

FoteFacebook is changing their Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. These changes will directly impact your use of Facebook and what happens to your content. While Facebook is offering users the opportunity to vote on the outcome, they are also requiring more than 30% of their active user-base to vote for that vote to be binding. If turnout is less than 30%, the vote will be “advisory.”

This means that over 300,000,000(!) people must cast a vote for the changes to be binding.

Additionally; YOU ONLY HAVE 5 DAYS TO VOTE! (As of 12/5/12. Voting will end on December 10 at 12:00PM (PST) / December 10 at 8:00PM  (GMT).).

300,000,000 people in 5 Days!!!


I have serious reservations about this process and find it significantly flawed. Reaching the required 300,000,000 votes in 5 days (and making sure people understand what they’re voting for) is not realistic and probably not possible. After all, two years of nearly continuous campaigning resulted in less than half that number voting in the U.S. Presidential Election and what was/is at stake in that election absolutely dwarfs what you’re voting for on Facebook.


I absolutely encourage you to understand the issues (see links below) AND VOTE!


While I do not believe that Facebook will honor the results (Facebook has a long history of deceiving their users and there is no reason to believe that this will change), I could be wrong (and hope I am).

So, please click on the links below. Learn about the issues, AND VOTE!

And Good Luck to us all (PLEASE Share).

LINKS: (Be sure to click on “Explanation of Changes” so you understand what Facebook claims to be up to.)


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Filed under Facebook, Social Media

Create & Deploy Your Own QR Codes (Updated)

The Class

On November 10, 2011, I had the pleasure of presenting “Create & Deploy Your Own QR Codes” to a small class for the Center City Proprietor’s Association in Philadelphia. It was a really fun giving this presentation. If you’d like to see it, can download it from (for some reason, embedding isn’t working – sorry about that).

I may repeat this class in a few weeks as a webinar. Please let me know if you’re interested by commenting on this post.

Also, I added a QR Code Campaign Worksheet at the end of the presentation which should help you organize you campaigns when using QR Codes. If you have any questions about QR Codes, the presentation or the services I offer, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thanks to the CCPA, Audrey Julienne and the attendees.



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Filed under Marketing, QR Codes, Social Media, Speaking, Training, Viral Marketing

Create and Deploy Your Own QR Codes

Scan (or click) on this Code to Register

You’ve heard about them. You’ve seen them around. They’re popping up everywhere. QR Codes are the latest rage, but what are they? How do you create them? How do you use them? What are they good for? Join me on Thursday, November 10, 2011 (12:00 – 1:30 PM) at the law firm of Caesar, Rivise, Bernstein, Cohen & Pokotilow, Ltd. (1635 Market Street, 7 Penn Center, 11th Floor, Philadelphia) and you’ll learn everything you need to know about QR Codes, including:

  • What are QR Codes?
  • History of QR Codes
  • QR Anatomy
  • Types of QR Codes
  • How to Make a QR Code
  • How to Read a QR Code
  • How to Use QR Codes
  • Measuring Success
  • Examples & Best Practices
  • How NOT to use
  • Security Risks
  • The Future

So, come join me. It’ll be a great time.

Click here to register (or scan the QR Code in this post).

See you there!

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Filed under Internet Trends, Marketing, QR Codes, Social Media, Speaking, Training, Viral Marketing

Interview with Zombie Author Jonathan Maberry

I’ve been doing a lot of fiction writing recently; more than I’ve done in quite a few years. One of the things that’s inspired me, and which I’ve found fascinating, is how  social media, tablets, e-readers and e-books are changing the publishing landscape. As a result, I’ve started interviewing authors to learn about how they use social media to build their audience and propel their careers. The links below will take you to two posts that together are the first in a series of interviews I will be posting about authors and social media.

In this post, I interviewed Jonathan Maberry, author of such zombie brain-feasts as Patient Zero, Rot & Ruin, Dust & Decay, Dead of Night and Wanted Undead or Alive. Note that there are two versions. Tweeting with Zombies is a short version that focuses on Twitter and was posted to The longer, extended post, Of Zombies & Social Media, is on Addicted to Social Media.


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Filed under Addicted to Social Media, Internet Trends, Interviews, Social Media,, Twitter

Will Facebook become FaceBank?

In our Addicted to Social Media podcast #44, I mentioned that Facebook could become FaceBank. In this post I go into more detail on a fascinating possibility.

Last week, it was announced that Goldman Sachs will invest $450 million in Facebook in addition to helping the company raise an additional $1.5 billion. This is a massive amount of money that will allow Facebook to do practically anything it wants (as if it couldn’t already). But while the pundits debate what Facebook will do with that money and whether or not it should, will or won’t go public, Facebook could become even more massive and powerful, ultimately evolving into FaceBank.

Could Facebook become FaceBank?

Facebook would certainly need much more than the few billions it’s raising in order to transform itself into a bank. However, if Mark Zuckerberg can successfully compete against companies such as Google (something he’s clearly positioning Facebook to do in both search and advertising) then Facebook would be able to generate the billions in additional revenue per quarter that it would need to back transactions from its 500+ million members.

Indeed, Facebook already has much of the critical infrastructure it needs in order to enable such transactions. Aside from the robust server infrastructure Facebook uses just to run the site, it has Credits, its virtual currency product, and Facebook social plugins such as the Like Button, Like Box and Login Button that are currently being used by at least 2 million websites. With these components already in place, Facebook is very close to being able to offer its users the ability to purchase products and conduct other financial transactions amongst each other using Facebook as the intermediary.

Would Facebook become FaceBank?

Of course, to do this Facebook would have to open itself up to an incredible degree of scrutiny, perhaps in many countries. This is something that Facebook will have to do anyway if it is going to go public, but this is also something that Zuckerberg doesn’t seem interested in doing.

However, in a FaceBank world, Facebook’s current $50 Billion valuation would merely be a drop in the bucket. If Zuckerberg and company could transform Facebook into a FaceBank, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine Facebook surpassing Apple’s $300 Billion valuation, especially if Zuckerberg achieves his goal of having 1 billion members. If this were to happen, in our bubble-based global economy, could a trillion-dollar valuation be far behind? And what would a company that commands such wealth and that knows so much about a significant percentage of the world’s population’s interests, likes and desires ultimately do then?

Let me know what you think in the comments.


Filed under Addicted to Social Media, Facebook, Internet Trends, Social Media

The Dangers of Facebook’s New Ad Display URLS

Inside Facebook and All Facebook are both reporting that Facebook is planning on introducing a new tool to their advertising platform to help protect users and increase transparency. Unfortunately, this new tool could actually have the exact opposite effect by making Facebook ads even more dangerous to click on.

What it Does

Image Source: Inside Facebook

The change is actually very simple. If an ad directs you to a destination outside Facebook, it will display the ad’s destination URL by placing that URL in a prominent location just below the headline and above the ad’s image (see picture). The idea is that you will now know exactly where you will be sent if you click on that ad. It’s a new layer of protection, right?


What’s the Risk?

The risk is that it’s ridiculously easy to dupe the user. How? Because while you may indeed be sent to the URL being displayed, Facebook has not indicated that they are doing anything to validate that the destination itself is safe.

But how could the destination not be safe if Facebook is showing me where I’m going?

Here are two likely scenarios that someone with malicious intent could set up in minutes. In both scenarios, you see an ad on Facebook with the URL You click on it. This is what could happen:

1)      The site you arrive at injects malware into your computer or does other evil things.

2)      The site you arrive at immediately redirects you to yet another website that could inject malware into your computer or do other evil things.

Certainly Facebook could, and should, add some sort of ongoing validation service to investigate these destinations. I say ongoing because it would be simple for the “advertiser” to set up a benign site that could revert into a malicious site as soon as validation is completed.

While I applaud Facebook for their attempt to protect users, they certainly have not thought things through. Until then, Clickers Beware!

What do you think? Let me know in the Comments.


Filed under Facebook, Marketing, Social Media

Listen to my Interview with Stephanie Schierholz, NASA’s First Social Media Manager

Neal and Astronaut TJ Creamer

Neal and Astronaut TJ Creamer

On July 29th, I was back at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC for yet another Tweetup, this time to meet Astronaut TJ Creamer (@Astro_TJ) who recently returned from the International Space Station.  After the Tweetup, I interviewed Stephanie Schierholz, NASA’s first Social Media Manager which you can listen to right here.

This interview marks our 25th Podcast for Addicted to Social Media. You can listen to our previous podcasts here.

Please leave a comment, and Enjoy!

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Filed under Addicted to Social Media, NASA, Podcast, Social Media

Case Study: Even When Engaged Late, Social Media can Effectively Market Events

I recently teamed up with Sagefrog Marketing Group to help them promote a special event “Cultivating a Creative Workforce” featuring special guest, actor/director and businessman Robert Redford. The event was organized by the Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (ABC), an affiliate of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce (GPCC), and was intended to be a discussion about how creativity in both arts and business can strengthen communities and improve economic development.

Our task was to use social media to promote the event. Although both ABC and GPCC are beginning to integrate social media into their communications channels, relying on social media to promote such a major event was considered an experiment by the client. Consequently, we were engaged late in the planning stages (hardly an ideal scenario as social media should be an integral part of any marketing endeavor) and an email campaign had already commenced.


Aside from starting late, we were working with a limited budget and time frame (about three weeks to plan and execute), so we immediately conducted a quick Risk Analysis to help us manage the client’s expectations. Among our findings were the following:


  • Mr. Redford is considered a major movie star and commands tremendous respect for his artistic and business accomplishments.
  • Mr. Redford holds strong appeal for the 40+ demographic.
  • The 40+ demographic is quickly becoming very active on Facebook.
  • The 40+ demographic is more likely to pay the $70-$80 ticket price.
  • This event is a strong draw for those interested in the topic.
  • The venue is relatively small (approximately 350 seats)
  • Approximately 50 tickets have already been sold.


  • Limited budget and time frame to plan and execute.
  • Marketing had commenced without social media integrated into the overall strategy.
  • Mr. Redford’s primary appeal was expected to be to those 40 and over; a demographic quickly becoming much more active in social media, but not uniformly active on a broad range of social media channels.
  • The topic may not hold broad appeal to those interested in seeing Mr. Redford.
  • The event took place in Philadelphia which limited our expectations to be able to attract attendees who were not local.
  • In the current economy, some may consider the $70-$80 ticket price too expensive.


In marketing, goals dictate, or at least significantly influence, strategy. The goals for this engagement were simple and allowed us to move forward quickly.

  • Sellout tickets
  • Increase visibility of both the ABC and GPCC

STRATEGY – Targeting

Targeting was one of our biggest concerns. While the ABC and GPCC sent emails to their members, we didn’t have the resources to build an extensive target list. As a stopgap measure, both Sagefrog and I agreed to reach out to our own social networks. However, this presented another issue as large segments of those networks didn’t necessarily meet the target criteria.

Target Criteria:

  • Must use any of the various social media channels which would be utilized.
  • Fans of Mr. Redford’s film work and philanthropic work.
  • Belong to the 40+ demographic (especially those over 50).
  • Employees of ABC and GPCC member companies.
  • Those interested in cinema including members of local theater and film groups.
  • Those interested in the topic.
  • Those located in or those who would be willing to travel to Philadelphia.

TACTICS – Channels

Having an “A-List” star such as Robert Redford is certainly an advantage, but it is still necessary to find people online who will be receptive to your message. Due to resource constraints, we focused on the following social media venues/channels:

  • Facebook and Facebook Fan Pages.
  • Twitter.
  • LinkedIn and LinkedIn Group.
  • Greater Philadelphia Film Office website.
  • ABC and GPCC social media channels (these websites already had notices).

TACTICS – Landing Pages

By the time we were engaged, ABC had already launched a page on to handle ticket sales and had linked to it from both their website and from the email. As a result, this page became the de facto landing page for the event. Unfortunately, Eventbrite pages cannot be branded or customized and do not make the most compelling of landing pages.

Fortunately, ABC uses as their email vendor. Listrak subscribes to standard email conventions which dictate that emails include links to an HTML version of that email. We felt that this page, essentially a duplicate of the email, made a better landing page than the Eventbrite page, so we adopted it as the target for all of our links. Additionally, the Listrak page also had a link to the ABC’s Facebook Fan page.

TACTICS – Outposts

For the simple reason that not everyone uses every social media service, it was necessary to establish Outposts on the most popular social media platforms. Outposts act as the primary destination for your activities on those platforms and allow you to have a diverse presence. While both the ABC and GPCC have Facebook fan pages, we set up a Facebook Fan page specifically for the event and began posting content to get the conversation going. Additionally, we set up a Twitter page and posted notifications and updates on other sites. In all, we established a presence or utilized an existing presence in the following locations.



Landing Pages

Other Websites

Additionally, we utilized the following services to archive images and videos of the event for anyone with an interest. Posting event related assets (video, pictures, etc) also provided additional content that could be mentioned in order to raise awareness about the ABC and GPCC for future events.

Post Event

TACTICS – Tweets & Updates

Our primary method of communication was Tweets on Twitter (using the Hash Tag #RedfordinPhilly) and Status Updates on both Facebook and LinkedIn. Other tactics such as writing blog posts and producing simple promotional videos were quickly eliminated as not practical based on existing constraints.

Upon launching the Redford in Philly Facebook Fan Page, we used Facebook’s “Suggest to Friends” tool which sent messages to all of our Facebook Friends. This tactic resulted in several spikes in page traffic (see Results, below). Additional tactics included posting details about the event on approximately 30 LinkedIn groups (which appeared in their subsequent emails), MySpace and posting links to Digg, Delicious and Stumble Upon.

We did receive approval to give away free tickets in order to help generate buzz, but this did not occur until about a week before the event and its impact was marginal. We had hoped to give away tickets every week, but did not receive approval for this activity. We had also hoped to have winners get their pictures taken with Mr. Redford; unfortunately this was not approved by Mr. Redford’s management.


While other tools may have been used by other team members, I managed my assigned tasks using the following:

  • Tweetdeck: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn posting.
  • Facebook Insights: For analytics.
  • Tweetie: For posting to Twitter from my iPhone.
  • Tracking clicks on links from posts and tweets.
  • What the Hash Tag: For tracking tweets with the #RedfordinPhilly Hash Tag.


Aside from what is provided below, we didn’t have access to data from the email campaign, the Eventbrite page or from the client’s respective Facebook Fan Pages. Access to such data could have allowed us to alter tactics and improve targeting, but we made use of what was available to use and delivered acceptable results.


  • Fans: 67 (36% Male, 63% Female). While slightly below expectations, it’s interesting to note that 74% of all activity came from people aged 18-34. However, this is likely due to the fact that most of the Fans came from Sagefrog employee social networks and thus skewed younger.
  • Page Views: While generally very low overall (which met expectations), we did experience several days with notable spikes in Page Views.
  • 332 Page Views upon launch of the Facebook Fan Page using Facebook’s “Suggest to Friends” tool.
  • 457 and 137 Page Views during the final week prior to the event when mentions, tweets and posts from the team were peaking.


  • Clicks (on Arts Email Landing Page Link): 268
  • Clicks (on Eventbrite Registration Page Link): 88 (clicks ended when we switched Landing Pages).


  • Views: 287 (post event)


  • Twitter excelled in its ability to rapidly spread word about the event and for its reach (I received several comments from Followers who said they would have attended the event if they were in Philadelphia; travel being prohibitive as most are outside the United States).
  • Facebook (via their “Suggest to Friends” tool) clearly drove significant traffic to the Fan Page and for general interaction.


  • Not including social media in the initial marketing strategy and budgetary constraints severely limited social media’s impact. While the campaign was ultimately successful, we could have sold tickets at a faster rate had we been able to more effectively coordinate our strategies and utilize a greater variety of tactics.
  • Because ABC and GPCC are both still establishing their social media presence, the strength of the relationships with their members through those channels has not reached its full potential.
  • We did not have direct access to either ABC’s or GPCC’s social media outposts and could not contribute to the overall volume of activity on those channels. This limited our ability to reach members who are active on those channels.
  • We had very little access to analytic data about the email campaign, traffic to the eventbrite page or traffic to the client’s respective Facebook Fan Pages. Access to this data could have allowed us to alter tactics and improve targeting.


Despite limitation, we helped the client fill over 300 seats, a 500% increase from when we were first engaged. As a result, both we and the client were very satisfied with social media’s performance promoting this event.


Filed under Social Media

Does too Much Reliance on Viral Marketing Limit Growth Potential?

By Hugh MacLeod (

This morning I read an interesting post, Advertising is the cost of being boring, by Andy Sernovitz. In his post, Andy states that if you please your customers by making a great product that they will want to talk about; they will talk about it and essentially market your product for you, for free.

Andy is referring to the power of Word of Mouth (i.e. Viral) marketing. Certainly, when properly managed, viral marketing can be a very powerful weapon in the marketer’s arsenal for many reasons, including:

  • People are expanding the reach of your marketing campaign by spreading information about your product to those who might otherwise not see or be responsive to your message.
  • People receiving the viral message will likely have some form of relationship with the person spreading it. As a result, that endorsement will likely receive greater consideration by the recipient.
  • When others spread your message for you, your cost is essentially zero.

The Holy Grail

Sure, it’s great to have a product that people will talk about and enthusiastically recommend; it’s one of the holy grails of marketing. Unfortunately, Andy’s forgetting that products don’t exist in a vacuum. There’s competition out there and you can’t assume that they’re not doing everything they can to get the word out about their products.

Regardless whether you call it ‘impressions’ or ‘top of mind awareness,’ you must make sure that people are getting exposed to your product, brand or message on a regular basis through every channel available to you.

Social Media Marketing is Powerful, but…

I know this may sound strange coming from someone who is such a strong proponent of social media marketing, but the reality is that too much dependence on any single channel (in this case, viral marketing) can not only limit the reach and effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, it can limit your ability to expand overall market share. Here’s why:

  • Your Spreaders (the people who are most likely to virally distribute your message) are already customers.
  • Spreaders could focus on selling points that might not be part of your primary value proposition.
  • Spreaders might unintentionally distort your message causing confusion.
  • A Spreaders’ connections and influence may not reach far into the desired market.
  • A Spreaders’ enthusiasm may wane, and this could happen at a critical time.

While these points may sound like reasons for you not to engage in social media marketing, that is NOT the case. My point is that social media marketing MUST be a PART of your campaign, but not the ONLY part.

What do you think? Please leave me a Comment and let me know.


Filed under Social Media, Viral Marketing

Listen Up! Don’t Miss Another Exciting Episode…

We’ve been doing a lot more podcasting recently over at Addicted to Social Media. Great conversations with some very exciting guests. Check them out via these links.

And some thoughts on the iPad (I want one so bad).

Coming up:

A New Twitip Post:

  • My latest post for is coming any day now, as soon as maintenance on the platform is finished. I’ll let you know.

I’m Leading More Training Sessions:

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Filed under Addicted to Social Media, Podcast, Social Media